Life is good for Neil Patrick Harris. Someone should tell his publicist.
In an interview with People magazine Friday, the How I Met Your Mother star happily confirmed that he is gay, just two days after his rep issued a release saying the actor is "not of that persuasion."
Publicist Craig Schneider's likely well-intentioned yet misinformed statement came in response to a Canada.com news brief reporting that Harris had helped his "longtime sweetheart," actor David Burtka, land a role on his hit CBS sitcom.
While it isn't known whether Harris knew Schneider had issued such a flat-out denial about his sexual orientation, the stage and screen star had no problem setting the record straight afterward.
"The public eye has always been kind to me, and until recently, I have been able to live a pretty normal life," Harris, whose big break came playing teenage genius Doogie Howser, M.D.in the early 1990s, told People.
"[I] am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love," he said.
Harris became the third big name this year to use People as a launching pad for coming out to the masses.
First former 'N Sync member Lance Bass confirmed rumors in July that he was in a committed relationship with Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl, saying he's "more liberated and happy" than he's ever been in his life. The duo has since been presented with the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award.
Grey's Anatomy cutie T.R. Knight followed suit last month, telling People he hoped to "quiet any unnecessary rumors" that may have sprung up in the wake of reports that castmate Isaiah Washington had leveled an antigay slur at him. (Which he apparently had, because Washington later apologized for his "unfortunate use of words.")
Taking his cue from others who wanted to nip the rumor mill in the bud, Harris, who was also singled out in People's Hottest Bachelors issue this summer, said: "Rather than ignore those who choose to publish their opinions without actually talking to me, I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions."
Harris, who had a cameo as a tripped-out version of himself in the cult favorite Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, filled his time between sitcoms (Doogie ended in 1993) with a number of TV guest spots (including the almost-mandatory turn as a serial killer on one of the Law & Order shows), small film roles and high-profile theater work. The 33-year-old actor's stage credits include leads in Proof, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus, Rent and Cabaret.